Secrecy is a major weapon in the abuser's arsenal. Many batterers maintain a double life and keep it a well-guarded secret. Others show one face â benign, even altruistic â to an admiring world and another â ominous and aggressive â at home. All abusers insist on keeping the abuse confidential, safe from prying eyes and ears.
The victims collaborate in this cruel game through cognitive dissonance and traumatic bonding. They rationalize the abuser's behavior, attributing it to incompatibility, mental health problems, temporary setbacks or circumstances, a bad relationship, or substance abuse. Many victims feel guilty. They have been convinced by the offender that they are to blame for his misconduct ("you see what you made me do!", "you constantly provoke me!").
(From the book "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" by Sam Vaknin - Click on this link to purchase the print book, or 16 e-books, or 2 DVDs with 12 hours of video lectures on narcissists, psychopaths, and abuse in relationships: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html)